this is "nightline." >> tonight, trump's agenda. what to expect from our president-elect. donald trump. is he moving toward the middle? why some are so upset over his new staff appointments. >> it's an absolute, unmitigated disaster. >> how the opposition is coming to terms with defeat. >> the people he plus, beyond magic. after burying himself alive, freezing, drowning, starving himself for stunts, david blaine is seeing stars. >> that's ridiculous, dude. >> that was amazing. >> showcasing the supernatural for stunned celebrities. and for his next trick, cheating death. so why does he do it? the magician reveals his secrets. tonight, remembering gwen ifill, a journalist who reached
touching words from president obama. first here the "nightline 5." >> mom's got this cold. #stuffy nose, #nosleep, #mouthbreather. >> put on a breathe right strip. it opens your nose up to 38% more than cold medicine alone. shut your mouth and say good night, mouth breathers. breathe right. the new recipe of beneful is excellent. the first ingredient is chicken. >> this chicken is spectacular. >> he turns into a puppy again, you love it, you much. >> beneful with chicken as the number one ingredient.
of spreading hate. there is also a phone call with putin today. then the current president lifting the curtain on a private meeting between him and his successor. here's abc's david wright. >> thank you. >> reporter: in an election year when so many got it so wrong, how are we to read the tea leaves on the trump administration, now just beginning to take shape. for now president obama is reserving judgment. >> do i have concerns? absolutely. of course i've got concerns. but the federal government and our democracy is not a speedboat. it's an ocean liner. >> reporter: already there are signs of rough seas. one pennsylvania school, chants of "white power." >> white power! >> reporter: in a michigan cafeteria, schoolkids taunted latino classmates by chanting trump's slogan. >> build the wall! >> reporter: "skin mys" asked
muslims. >> i am so saddened to hear that, and i say, stop it. fit helps, i will say this, and i'll say it right to the camera. stop it. >> reporter: meanwhile the other half of america seems to be working through the five stages of grief. first, denial. >> several states are too close to call. so we're not going to have anything more to say tonight. >> reporter: then, anger. >> no racist usa! >> reporter: followed quickly by bargaining. >> i just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with president-elect trump -- >> reporter: and then, inevitably, depression. ? and even though it all went wrong i'll stand before the lord of song ? ? with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah ? >> reporter: witness that unusual cold open. hillary clinton's forlorn swan song on "snl," a tribute also to the sate linger/songwriter leonard cohen.
should you. and live from new york, it's saturday night! >> reporter: but the last step, acceptance -- that's proving elusive. >> he successfully mobilized a big chunk of the country to vote for him, and he's going to win. he has won. he's going to be the next president. >> reporter: today president obama did his best at a white house news conference. >> when your team loses, everybody gets deflated. and it's hard. and it's challenging. i think it's a healthy thing for the democratic pty through some reflection. >> reporter: but it's a work in progress. so it seems is trump's agenda. in his first big interview since the election on "60 minutes," trump sought to put his detractors at ease. >> when they demonstrate against you and there are signs out there, don't you say to yourself, do i have to tell them not to be afraid? they're afraid. >> i would tell them, don't be afraid. absolutely. >> but that's not what you're saying, i say -- >> no, no, i'm saying it.
>> okay. >> don't be afraid. >> reporter: but at the same time, trump sent conflicting signals with his first two appointments. as chief of staff, trump chose a 44-year-old republican insider. outgoing gop chairman reince priebus. a conservative with close ties to speaker paul ryan. but for his chief strategist, trump picked a 62-year-old flameflower, campaign chair steve bannon, an alt right con often described as a white nationalist. >> i t appointment to be a senior advisor to donald trump is an absolute unmitigated disaster. >> reporter: bannon is a former investment banker who made tens of millions of dollars from royalties for "seinfeld." >> no soup for you! >> reporter: he went on to direct conservative documentaries like "occupy unmasked." >> in the name of social justice, in the name of economic
justified to commit crimes. >> reporter: more recently he's been the driving force behind breitbart media. the website infamous for headlines comparing planned parenthood's work to the holocaust. op eds calling to lock the door to islam. calling conservative analyst bill kristol a renegade jew. supporting the use of the confederate flag. the southern poverty law center sees breitbart as hate speech. >> a rebranding of the old supremacist white for the digital age. >> reporter: with steve bannon as a major instigator for this emboldened new extreme. >> this man for the last 18 months has been pushing his breitbart news operation into more and more aggressively racist coverage. >> reporter: installing bannon and priebus on the same day is a mixed message for trump. his more moderate supporters won't see eye to eye with bannon. his more extreme supporters see priebus as a creature of the
drain. >> this is a clear signal that donald trump has two tracks in mind. there's an inside track and an outside track. it is going to be a two-minded administration for the two sides of donald trump. >> reporter: some predict there will be firework in the west wing, including former breitbart spokesperson kurt bardella. >> i think trump has done this deliberately to put them against one another, in the long run something's going to give and one of them's not going to be there. >> reporter: kelley ann conway defended bannon. >> i've w been the general of this campaign. frankly people should look at the full resume. he's got a harvard business degree, a naval officer -- >> reporter: today on gma reince priebus insisted bannon is no white supremacist. >> i don't know where they're coming from. that's not the steve bannon i know. >> reporter: what else do we know about trump's agenda? abc's rebecca jarvis has been going over the trump tax plan. >> the more money you make, the more money you get back out of his tax plan.
per year, you get about $100 benefit from this plan. $100 in savings. and if you jump up to $143,000 a year, you'll see $2,000, approximately, in savings. >> reporter: the fine print is about as clear as trump's own tax returns. still under lock and key. >> is he proposing to fix the system that obviously helped him? >> that's a good question. i don't know the answer to >> reporter: we also don't know quite where he stands on abortion. though we told leslie stall he'd fulfill his vow to appoint supreme court justices who oppose roe versus wade. >> but having to do with abortion, if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. so it would go back to the states -- >> some women won't be able to get an abortion -- >> it will go back to the states. >> by state. >> well, they'll perhaps have to go to another state.
>> well, we'll see what happens. >> reporter: which brings us back to that all-important fifth stage of grief, acceptance. some cultural icons have been urging it, including david chappelle on "snl." >> i'm wishing donald trump luck. and i'm going to give him a chance. and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too. thank you very much. >> reporter: and there's oprah winfrey on "e.t." >> to hear president-elect trump say that he had respect for president obama, it felt that he had reached a moment where he was actually humbled by that experience, to hear president obama say that he has renewed confidence in the peaceful transition -- i think everybody can take a deep breath. >> reporter: but oprah received some serious twitter backlash for her comments. comedian patton oswald tweeting, this is not one of my favorite things.
sense some of his supporters aren't buying it. >> we will try to share the lessons that we've learned over these last eight years with the incoming president. and my hope is he makes things better. and if he does, we'll all benefit from it. >> reporter: with that, the now lame duck president left the briefing room. i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. next, what the magician david blaine did that totally freaked david beckham as he prepares for his latest primetime stunt. we're with him as he warms up with street magic in central
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so here's a question. if you're a magician who's been buried alive,n air, and encased in ice, how do you top yourself? david blaine is back with a new primetime special tomorrow night right here on abc and he sat down today with my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> can i borrow your wedding ring? >> of course. >> go for it. >> it's okay. >> reporter: david blaine is at it again. >> here's what i do with the ring. >> reporter: freaking people out by harnessing his obsessive training and mental toughness to perform stomach-churning, mind-blowing magic. seeming to brush closer and closer to death. is there any line you won't cross? what won't you do? >> sleep deprivation i haven't done yet. i've tried it but it's so difficult. >> reporter: part magician, part endurance artist, david blaine has been testing the limits of mind and boat for years. he was buried alive in a plexi
water tank for seven days. in "above the below" he suffered minor organ failure after being suspended 30 feet in the air, living off just water for 44 days. he was frozen in time, encased in a block of ice for nearly 64 hours after which he was rushed to the hospital. >> which is the toughest one that you've had to recover from? >> the ice. well, no. the ice was the toughest one to do. everybody around me thought i was going into shock, that i was going to die. >> reporter: in his new "beyond magic zook he's back with a whole new bag of tricks. this one years in the making. >> wow. you swallowed it. >> he did swallow it. >> you appear to swallow david beckham's and john travolta's and everybody's wedding ring. people are screaming and freaking out and running out of the room. >> the idea for that actually began with a classic magic trick which is called linking rings where you take people's rings and you link them together. then i wanted to figure out how
actually get the reactions that you're talking about. >> freak people out. >> reporter: once you swallow a ring, how do you get it back? that is complicated. >> so one of the things that i had to learn -- was sword swallowing. there's only a few hundred people in the world that do it. >> reporter: today we saw it in realtime on "ellen." blaine then transfers his sword-swallowi wire hanger, and goes after the ring. >> dude, that was amazing. >> reporter: the last time i interviewed him a decade ago, he was being drowned alive in 2,000 gallons of salt water, submerged for seven long days. david blaine will attempt to hold his breath for a world record nine minutes. i had the honor of interviewing you in the midst of one of your many endurance tests. >> water tank. >> in the water tank. >> i remember that.
you were delirious at that point. >> i understand your muscles are beginning to atrophy, does that worry you when it comes to the escape tomorrow night? >> i think it worries me not just for that part, but i've never felt this kind of pain in a stunt before. >> where does your mind go? i'm assuming you have sort of transcendent moments. >> people provide a great distraction. whether they're shouting crazy things or just coming to give you support. when i'm just by myself i usually close my eyes then try to imagine that i'm in of beautiful environment. >> reporter: back then a heart-thumping stunt. today we met him in the park for more tempered illusions. >> we're going to come up with a new favorite. see it, don't say it. we'll call that your favorite card. >> that's my favorite card. >> were you looking? you were looking, it's permanent, right? >> uh-huh, yes. >> what does it say? >> sharpie. >> can you hold that? i want you to look through the deck. i want you to remove your favorite card. as i go through, you look. the 5 of hearts.
change. >> no, this is it. >> yeah? okay, good. look at the sharpie again. rub it. rub right here. see? >> it says 5 of hearts. how did you do that? that's insane. >> whichever card you want you'll take and he'll sign it. you like that card? let him sign and it show them, let them see it. good, that's a good signature. do this for me. say "stop." >> stop. >> put it back. good. here's the idea. when i go through i want you to blow on the card. like that. >> okay. >> as i start to drop. ready, go. see how one card just kicks out? let's see if you got the right one, i don't even know. >> is that the right one? >> you got it. >> is that the right one? >> that's the right one. >> that's the classic reaction to you which is how the bleep did you do that? >> minus the bleep. >> reporter: when he's not making us queasy on "the tonight
>> that's real. >> reporter: he's working on the new show stopper for his latest special. pulling the trigger on himself on a rifle aimed at his face. armchair freudian would say you have a death wish. >> it's the opposite of a death wish. there's so many legendary stories of bullet catches. i wanted to do a version of it but i wanted to do a different version. >> you are very mindful of kids are thinking when they're watching you. you're shooting yourself in the face. >> yeah, i do not want kids to do it. there's a magic history and i hire the best consultants and i study what's been done. there's a lot of work and research. i would never want anybody to do anything similar, obviously. >> reporter: blaine says he wants to set good example for his nearly 6-year-old daughte dessa. you say you don't want to take undue risks because you were quoted as saying, i would never want my daughter to see my --
finally here tonight, remembering a towering figure in american journalism. >> good evening. and welcome to elkhart, indiana, as we sit down with president obama. >> reporter: from humble beginnings as a minister's daughter to becoming part of the first all-female anchor team -- >> i'm judy wood roof. >> i'm gwen ifill. >> reporter: born in new york city in 1955. while in college she interned at the "boston herald," an experience she would later describe on the pbs series "makers." >> i call myself the lonely only. there were no other black women
there were things to do. >> reporter: those things would lead her into television. >> you have 90 seconds to respond -- >> reporter: in 2004 became the first african-american woman to moderate a vice presidential debate, a role she would fill again in 2008. >> i start with you, governor palin -- >> reporter: tonight, after her death from cancer, tributes pouring in on social media. even president obama offering his condolences during his press conference this afternoon. >> she was an extraordinary journalist. she always kept faith fundamental responsibilities of her profession, asking tough questions, holding people in power accountable, defending a strong and free press that makes our democracy work. >> reporter: gwen ifill was 61 years old. our thoughts are with her family tonight. thank you for watching abc news. as always, we're online 24/7 at abcnews.com and on our "nightline" facebook page.
new love? we have the story and why a fight could have brought these two together. big stars, big hollywood, "celebrity page" tv starts now. welcome to "celebrity page" i'm sonya isabel with all of your entertainment news. coming up miles teller is talking about his new movie. but first let's kick things off with the hollywood wrap. meet the newest member of the blac chyna8 giving birth to a healthy baby girl, rob sharing the first photo of his daughter with his 7.5 million twitter follows. everyone in the delivery room getting in on the viral crazy.